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----- Original Message ----- 
Sent: Friday, March 28, 2008 03:24 UTC
Subject: [amsat-bb] QSL CARD EXCHANGE

> Greetings,
> I have a question about exchanging QSL cards.  When the last time the ISS 
> xband repeater was up I made seven contacts.  I was very excited because 
> this was the first time I was able to work satellites.  Very anxious, I 
> sent out seven QSL cards.  Waiting to get some back.  I received only one. 
> My questions is, is there a protocol for sending and receiving QSL cards 
> for satellite work?  When I get better, I would like to try for VUCC... 
> Thanks in advance.  73, Stuart W8STU  EN91

Hi Stuart,
 Even avid DXer's only get about a 60% return rate on their QSL's so don't 
get to discouraged. That said, here are a few suggestions to increase your 
return rate:
-Always enclose an SASE (self addressed stamped envelope).
-Be sure to record contact dates and times in UTC and indicate so on the 
-Be sure to write legibly.
-Always sign your card.
-Include all the information the other station might want for his/her own 
award goals (Grid Square, ITU Zone, CQ Zone, County, etc.)
-Write a short note on the back thanking the other station for the QSO.
-If the card is for a new State, Grid, Country, etc. say so on the card.
-If you're working for an award say so on the card.
-Some special events have QSL managers so be sure you know the correct place 
to send your card.
-If the card is important and you don't get a response in a reasonable 
period of time send another card and be sure to note it's your second 
-If you're sending a card over seas don't  bother with the SASE just include 
a self addressed envelope and a "green stamp" (one dollar bill) to cover 
local postage.
-Overseas QSL's should never have a call-sign on the outside of the envelope 
to avoid mail theft.

If you're really desperate you can create a return card for the other 
station and send it to him to sign and return. Be sure to include a note 
explaining what your doing and an SASE. (I've done this twice and it worked 
both times).

Some other things to consider:
-Personalized QSL cards get a higher return rate.
-Unique QSL cards get a higher return rate.
-Cards that are easy to read and understand get a higher return rate.

Things to avoid are:
-Cards with the address or other information in non-standard form (Example: 
Street address at the top, City and State at the bottom).
-Cards with political or religious messages.
-Cards that have a commercial message or promote particular, non-amateur 
related causes.

One other note, sometimes it takes a while. I generally send out card every 
three months or so and I know hams that only reply to QSLs once a year.

Good Luck on the VUCC

Steve .. AI7W
lm #2270 

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